Seven Strategies to Engage Employees in 2010

 -  1/13/10

Effective leaders see the untapped potential in employees and deploy strategies to bring out the best in every person or team. Here are seven strategies to boost engagement levels and further business success.

Effective leaders continually seek business improvements and ways to maximize the potential of those they lead. They see the untapped potential in their employees and deploy strategies to bring out the best in every person or team.

This is essential given the fact that the cost of unfocused, unmotivated and unhappy employees takes a heavy toll on business. Employee disengagement costs businesses in the United States more than $300 billion each year.

One study compared highly engaged business units to disengaged units and found that the engaged groups rated 86 percent higher in customer satisfaction, had a 78 percent higher safety record, maintained a 70 percent lower turnover rate, delivered a 70 percent higher productivity rate and scored 44 percent more in profitability.

The good news for leaders is that untapped potential of disengaged employees can be turned around. Here are some key strategies leaders can employ to increase staff engagement and further organizational success.

Hire right. The most important decision that leaders make is to bring the right talent into the organization — this means finding a fit between what the job, team and organization needs and what the employee brings to the table. Too often, leaders hire people they like in the interview; this “like” factor creates a personality fit, but commonly misses several other important success factors. Instead, they must utilize a comprehensive performance assessment to help objectify the hiring process. An assessment that measures personality, motivation and competency provides the highest level of superior job performance predictability.

Honor the whole person. Employees don’t want to be used simply as a vehicle for corporate success. Engaging leaders truly care about workers as unique people. Employees engage when leaders demonstrate that they care about and are interested in them, their families and their careers.

Honor competency. In the 21st-century, almost all jobs require some level of individual creativity, leadership and decision-making autonomy. An engaging leader understands that employees often have better answers to their own work issues than the boss does. Leaders should honor the competency of their employees by asking them to share their opinions and ideas and coaching them to think and create solutions themselves.

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